More cast vote against prison than for mayor

Mayor Dan Ashton needs to be reminded that only 3,124 voters gave him his current mandate

At the June 20 council meeting following the referendum defeat of the prison proposal, Mayor Dan Ashton lamented that a small number of “no” voters had dismissed a unique opportunity that might have transpired for Penticton.

A total of 4,302 voters had rejected the presence of a remand centre/jail in their community. The BC Liberals effectively asked us if we wanted a prison. After careful consideration at our referendum and several other public venues, the citizens of Penticton said no. Why can’t Mr. Ashton accept that and move on?

Given the extremely narrow margin by which Dan Ashton was re-elected as mayor of Penticton, one expected a more statesmanlike inaugural speech from him at the first meeting of the new council on Dec. 5.

But no, he insisted on taking another jab at those who rejected the prison. Mayor Dan Ashton needs to be reminded that only 3,124 voters gave him his current mandate. The number of voters who said no to a prison far outweighed those who chose Dan Ashton as their mayor, yet that new “low” number of votes in his favour is now seemingly unimportant to him.

Of course, economic strategy ideas may be advanced by individual anti-prison citizens, as Mayor Ashton invited in his speech. But let’s not forget that under Mr. Ashton’s aegis, millions have been awarded to the Chamber of Commerce over the past three years for the delivery of economic development and tourism services.

Where was the accountability and transparency around those contracts, which were funded by Penticton taxpayers? Economic development is the job of elected officials and staff, contracted or otherwise, and residents have a right to expect better than a prison as the biggest idea to emerge from that particular “think tank”, especially when public dollars are footing the bill.

Taunting those who did not agree with his stance on the prison was a poor start for a mayor with a significantly weakened mandate. Dan Ashton’s job is to foster the public interest and the communal well-being of Penticton residents (and those in the RDOS should he be re-elected as its chair). It is not to be the local agent for delivering a prison agenda for the BC Liberals or any other political party, to the detriment of a more positive economic and social future in Penticton and our region.

Loraine Stephanson





Just Posted

(Pixabay photo)
Morning Start: Goosebumps helped scare off predators

Your morning start for Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Sue Birds captured this sunset photo that took place in between the rain and thunder Monday night, June 15, 2021. (Sue Birds)
Stormy sunsets over Okanagan Valley

Monday night had thunder, rain and stunning sunsets

Owner Daren McWhinney is really excited about the new location of Angry Vegan which just opened up at 536 Main Street. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Penticton’s Main Street turns into foodie heaven

Angry Vegan, Wild Ginger, Twisted Chopsticks and Gratify recently opened

Penticton Overdose Prevention Society co-founders Desiree Franz, Shane Surowski and Stephanie Lines have created the city’s first unsanctioned public overdose prevention site using an old wine-tour bus. The site began operations in June 2021. (Desiree Franz/Facebook)
Volunteers launch Penticton’s first public supervised injection site

2021 is on pace to be the deadliest year for overdoses in Penticton on record

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club in Oliver will golf from sunrise to sunset to raise funds for ALS on June 29. (Submitted)
Golfing from sunrise to sunset in Oliver for ALS

Four golfers from Fairview Mountain Golf Club have taken up the challenge June 29

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years and they've detailed the first year of their adventures in a new book. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Okanagan couple details first year of van life in new book

Lyndsay Fillier and Braden Taylor have been living the van life for four years

The cannabis dispensary store, located at 1024 Clark Drive in East Vancouver. (Instagram/Budwayonclark)
Vancouver pot shop owner ordered to pay $40K for copying Subway

Store’s mascot is a red-eyed, cannabis-filled smoking sandwich

A young child was taken to hospital after being struck by a vehicle on 30th Avenue in Vernon Friday, June 11, 2021. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Child OK after being hit by car in Vernon

Father says daughter was back home by supper time

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Most Read